Posted on 10/16/2013 at 11:56 AM by Global Reach

The 28th anniversary of the Iowa Culture and Language Conference will be held November 11-13, 2013.  We invite you to join us under the beautiful fall setting of the Iowa River at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 300 E. 9th St., Coralville, Iowa.

The culture and history of this Iowa location makes the visit as memorable as the conference, so don’t miss out!  The conference is spread out over a three-day period.

We begin with the opportunity for more intense learning with our all-day workshops on Monday, November 11th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This part of the conference is referred to as the Pre-conference and brings with it some great learning venues with the following presenters:

1)    Nancy Cloud, East Greenwich, Rhode Island – “Advancing the Reading and Writing Skills of Intermediate ELLs to Meet Grade Level Expectations.”
2)    Karen Nemeth , Newton, PA – “Language Development:  The Center of it All”
3)    Socorro Herrera, Manhattan, KS – “Literacy:  More than the Steps to Vocabulary Development Academic”.
4)    Melisa Hancock, Manhattan, KS  - “Mathematics, the Common Core, and Language”
5)    JD Brown, Kaneohe, HI – “Classroom Assessment:  What every language teacher needs to know.”
6)    Judie Haynes, Wyckoff, NJ – “Six Key Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Area”

The conference will continue with regular sessions on Tuesday, November 12th and Monday, November 13th.   Breakfast is available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. with the sessions following at 8:30 a.m. each day. The sessions will be 90-minutes each on the Main Level and 75-minutes each on the Upper Level.  Our conference presenters will cover many strands that are important to all educators, not just the English language learners.  Be sure to check out the ICLC website for the schedule of the conference at this link

This year we are bringing back Kathy Olson, our stalwart from Ohio who ALWAYS gets excellent reviews on our evaluations.   And again, we have Socorro Herrera – literacy expert; Melisa Hancock – math guru and Mary Diaz who appeals to paras and counselors.  After a two-year hiatus, we will have back the phenomenal, Roger Rosenthal from D.C. speaking on the rights of immigrant students and ELLs in Iowa.

Another hot topic, sad to say, is bullying.  We will have presentations from Tonnie Martinez on the cultural aspect of bullying.  Joining her from the MEAC group will be Jessie Myles speaking on meeting the needs of our students in poverty.  We are very excited to bring to you Yvonne and David Freeman who will do a three-hour workshop on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  They will present on developing academic language and the essential practices of living between worlds for our ELLs.  This couple is well-loved and received by all who know them!  Wrapping in the content as related to ELLs, and another tough topic on and trauma and violence will be Judie Haynes.   Some very valuable pieces on assessments will be covered by our presenter from Hawaii, JD Brown.  In our last test results it was shown the need for improvement with reading and writing, so be sure to check out Nancy Cloud for assistance.  Our work horse for the conference is Karen Nemeth who will be covering as many things as she can for our early childhood group in two full days, a Monday pre-conference and three sessions on Tuesday!  Another timely and overlooked subject is the importance of transition skills for ALL students.  We’ve got you covered with presentations by Lia Conklin.

The opening keynote speaker will be Anesa Kajtazovic who has a story of “Overcoming the Odds” about her journey to becoming a member of the House of Representatives.  She will present after the welcome and announcements on Tuesday morning.  We continue with more fantastic presenters, Mark Grey and Michele Devlin from UNI, Kay Schmalen our technology whiz, and Sunday Goshit on developing cultural competence.  We will be honored again with a panel facilitated by Deng Tiir from Sudan.

This year we will also have some great support with sessions by our Iowa Department of Education personnel.  We want to welcome and thank them for taking part of our conference – thank you Byron Darnall, Jobi Lawrence, Tom Deeter, Brad Niebling, Stefanie Rosenberg Wager and Jeanette Thomas.  Another team that is awesome to reach out and support our conference is the Office of Civil Rights presenters, Sandy Garcia and Leticia Magedlano.  Their session will be done on SKYPE again this year – but is a must see for help ensuring equal education for our ELLs!

With so many topics being covered, there are yet so many more that are important to our ELLS – from help with beginning your program by Annalisa Miner and Lisa Wymore, to creating a communicative environment with Bar Oakland and Sarah Thao, to the ever-important emphasis on vocabulary by Simona Boroianu.  We try to cover even unique topics like using professional learning communities with Joan Nielsen to establishing a culturally diverse classroom to meet the needs of all students with Renee Levi and Cindy Richardson.

Yet – without culture – we would not have the Iowa Culture and Language Conference.  I find the rock that is our foundation is our strand on culture.  This is a large piece of the conference and was put together with a lot of hard work by our committee member, Dawn Martinez Oropeza.  This year you will have the organizations CultureALL with Maureen Korte and LSI with Leslie Olson, presenting.  Leslie will also bring us speakers from four communities representing Bhutan, Burma, Congo and Iraq.  Be sure to make some time to see them.   Last, but not least, will be our very own committee member, Vinh Nguyen, presenting a three-hour session on the unknowns of beginning a new life, a new everything!  We guarantee from his reviews last year, you won’t be disappointed!

There are many speakers that I cannot begin to mention, but are a VERY important part of our conference.  I would like to take the time to recognize and thank all of those are those who are selected through a “Call for Proposal” process.   They work very hard to prepare for this conference and have some excellent material, so please remember to visit our upper level sessions too! 

Don’t forget to join us for the evening dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday for “Eating with the Experts”.  We will have over 14 presenters joining you for a little friendly conversation or even some deep discussion if you choose!  The evening meal is at a cost of $27 and must be registered ahead of time.   We look forward help closing down the conference with the Award’s luncheon on Wednesday.  It is always a great feeling to see the people who work so hard in this field be recognized.  

We feel this conference is going to be very special one indeed, so hope you will find something of interest and value to help you with your students this year and in the future. 

Registration Highlights
Standard conference rate effective through October 28th is $145
Late registrants - $190
No refunds after October 28th, 2013

“The mission of the Iowa Culture and Language Conference is to advocate for culturally and/or linguistically diverse students and their families, educators, and service providers.”

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